Tougher tests for Isle of Man beach swimming waters – BBC News

Water quality on Isle of Man beaches will be given more stringent testing for bacteria in order to monitor the safety of swimming in the sea.

Tynwald has backed a strategy for the adoption of the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive for the island’s bays.

It will allow people to make “more informed decisions on when and where” to swim, the environment minister said.

The move will see weekly tests for bacteria over summer and signs to let people know more about water quality.

Under the 2006 directive, which replaces the 1976 directive, water quality will be rated poor, sufficient, good or excellent for swimming by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

The changes would see a minimum standard of “good” introduced for Manx beaches.

The new rules will also simplify the testing by reducing the number of bacteria screened, and establish a more proactive approach to making the results known.

Water quality is affected by factors including agricultural run-off, bad weather and, in some areas, sewage.

Environment minister Geoffrey Boot said water quality had “improved significantly over recent years, largely through Manx Utilities programme to improve our sewage infrastructure”.

The quality was “likely to improve further” following the construction of more regional sewage treatment works by September 2021, he said.

A £23.5m scheme to build regional sewage treatment plants in Peel, Laxey and Baldrine was approved in March, with plans for the Laxey works due to be submitted next year.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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